Target Revives Societal Normalcy by Removing Gender-based Signage

Photo by Nevit Dilmen. [CC-BY-SA]

Photo by Nevit Dilmen. [CC-BY-SA]

Target Corporation has announced that it will begin to phase out gender-based signage near its aisles for children’s toys and bedding. While many in the conservative media are outraged over what they believe is a step towards gender eradication, others applaud Target for rising up against gender discrimination. However, itappearsthat whatmany staunchconservatives are outraged overis not only unwarranted and unnecessary, but counter-intuitive, and a step away from inherent conservative ideals.

Conservative ideals in their nature praise the process of capitalism and respect the actions a corporation takes to induce profit margins. This move by Target exemplifies capitalism and surely reflects conservative ideals. Yet, when conservatives like evangelist Franklin Graham ignore the essence of conservative ideology and call for boycott, it shows a corrupt balance of priorities. If it were a different department, perhaps apparel or even jewelry, Target’s decision would be nonsensical. But for children’s toys and bedding, the need for gender segregation does not exist. A young girl should be allowed to wear a Darth Vader helmet or sleep with Transformers-themed bedding without breaking through externally imposed boundaries. It is not a symbol of societal decimation, but a revival of normalcy. These constrictions are not natural; they are hardly even societal. Only a small minority of rational adults would confine an action figure or bug collection to masculine and a baby doll to feminine stereotype.

So what is the root of the conservative response to this corporate move? It is fear for the future of normalcy. Fundamental social conservatives fear the success of this movement will motivate drastic gender neutrality-based changes in other store departments. They do not see the clear distinction between removing gender-based restrictions on toys and removing gender-based restrictions on clothing. Gender-based clothing boundaries have existed since the beginning of time and will continue to exist, but these boundaries need not apply to children’s toys.

If a girl wants to play with a light saber, sheis not atransgender, and if a boy wants to play house, he is not psychologically a female; they are just kids being kids. When society places stringent constraints upon children, it creates outliers who believe they are something they are not. Nearly all children enjoy playing with girls’ toys and boys’ toys, and it does not symbolize what their “true” gender is. When parents see a breach in social norms as a symbol of gender confusion, it incites actual confusion and leads to permanent, often unnecessary issues like Gender Dysphoria and gender reassignment. Contrary to public belief, gender-based social norms are the problem, and they must be eradicated for the continuation of societal normalcy.